The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered workers in all 19 Deposit Money Banks in the Nigeria to declare their assets.
Four weeks ago, a letter was sent from the Banking Supervision Department of the CBN to all the 19 commercial banks in Nigeria informing them about the new order.
According to The Punch, the CBN has given all bank officials a one-week ultimatum to complete the assets declaration process. This report also named Ecobank Nigeria, First City Monument Bank Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc as the only three banks that have so far complied with the directive.
A top official of one of the tier-1 banks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Punch newspaper, said “All our All our staff members, from the most junior to the most senior, were asked to declare their assets through a court affidavit. It was handled by the company’s lawyer.
“We were asked to declare all our assets, including developed and undeveloped parcels of land, properties, houses in Nigeria and outside Nigeria etc. We were asked to also declare everything, including power generators at home. We complied within one week.”
Speaking on the development, an executive director in one of the top three banks said, “It is part of the ongoing anti-corruption crusade in the country. The Federal Government is trying to deepen the anti-corruption war in the private sector, and it is believed that the banking sector is a very critical sector. This is why the CBN has been mandated to do this.”
“The directive is from the Code of Conduct Bureau. It is an extant rule. Before now, most people have not been complying. So the CCB wrote a letter to the CBN reminding it about it. This is why the CBN had to write the banks to comply,” a top official of the apex bank told our correspondent on condition of anonymity.
It was also learned that bank workers, especially top officials whose assets were beyond their means, panicked at the possibility that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) might examine the assets declaration forms.
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) is the pioneer anti-corruption agency set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the primary responsibility of checking corrupt practices in the Nigerian Public Service. The CCB is mandated by law to distribute assets declaration forms to the general public.
Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, said the directive to banks to have their employees declare assets was not issued by the CBN but is a statutory requirement in line with the Bank Employees’ Declaration of Assets Act of 1986.
When asked why the the CBN was enforcing its compliance at the moment, he responded, “Why not now?”
The Bank Employees, Etc. (Declaration of Assets) Act CAP. 27 L.F.N. 1990 ACT CAP.A B1 L.F.N. 2004 makes provisions for the declaration of assets by employees of banks operating in Nigeria and empowers the President to extend its application to other category of persons.